Listen to the full podcast episode HERE
What do you see to be the biggest business advantage to doing or attending events?
For our events, trying to make engineering really exciting and fun on the spot is a challenge…At our National Building Museum Discover Engineering Family Day, with [Linder], we’ve had Nate Young, TV host from Design Squad. When he used his invention to rappel the six stories up the atrium, everybody was like, “Ooooh!” – and that is engineering in action, so it gets everybody’s attention and gets them excited.
What is the most innovative thing you’ve seen done either at your event or an event you’ve attended?
We have a virtual platform for an event called The Global Marathon For, By, and About Women in Engineering, and we provide that free for anybody who wants to participate, and it’s allowed us to connect women around the world to one another.
Generally, we get about 2,000 registrants, and we’re looking to grow that, but we had about 64 countries represented. The thing we’re going to be doing, that we’re excited about is to, for the first time, stream our Future City Competition national finals from Washington, D.C. – not all of it. It will be produced, but we’re collaborating with a kid’s TV show called Fab Lab, and they will be producing the streaming, and, as you know, it’s really hard to explain Future City to people, and what these kids do in creating their cities of the future – you have to see it. So we’re hoping that, with this stream, more people will see what’s being done, understand it, and want to get involved. So it’s partly a celebration for our 25th anniversary of that program, but also to really build more momentum.
What is the best use of technology you’ve utilized at an event or seen at another event?
For us, it is the business-to-business contact that we provide for our sponsors, and for them, it’s also the visibility that we provide, showing them as leaders in the STEM, education, and workforce area. So I think those would be the two that come to mind.
GUEST: Leslie Collins
Leslie Collins created the DiscoverE outreach campaign (1990) which led to an activist volunteer outreach movement and has evolved into the new organizational name. She also created Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering & Technology.
Collins began her career in public relations at the American Gas Association. Later she became the public relations director for the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
Collins is a graduate of Boston College and attended graduate school at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.